It is difficult to determine what an average settlement for wrongful death lawsuits is because cases differ, and two outcomes are the same. Also, statistical resources for calculating the average compensation for wrongful death cases do not exist.
However, a lawyer can help evaluate your wrongful death claim to determine how much compensation to pursue in your case. The damages and financial awards you might be able to seek depend on the circumstances of your case and the extent of your losses.
Factors That Affect the Value of a Wrongful Death Settlement
Every wrongful death lawsuit has inherent differences that a lawyer can evaluate to help you determine the appropriate amount to request in your case. An attorney cannot guarantee that you will receive that specific amount, but they can assess several factors to make your case for fair compensation. These factors may include:
- The decedent’s age
- The decedent’s future earning potential
- The decedent’s medical bills and other health care expenses related to the injury that caused their death
- Available insurance policy coverage and limits
Insurance companies and juries must consider that wrongful death claims intend to provide for the victim’s loved ones for as long as the decedent would have provided for them had they lived a full life. Because their personal income plays a role in determining this amount, settlements can vary from thousands to several million.
Financial Awards in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
How the law handles wrongful death claims and lawsuits varies by state, but they may include several components, depending on the extent of the decedent’s injuries, the damages the survivor suffered, and other financial assets involved.
According to an article in the Journal of Legal Economics, family members typically file a wrongful death claim for the damages the decedent would have received for their personal injuries had they survived, the damages the survivors accrued as a result of the decedent’s death, or both.
If the decedent and/or their dependents have considerable fiscal means, they may also pursue compensation for the loss of accumulations to an estate. This refers to an assumed increase in the value of the decedent’s estate had they survived, and the loss of investment accumulations for the annual investment totals the decedent would have expected to make.
In a wrongful death case, compensatory damages refer to both the economic and non-economic damages the claimant seeks for the loss of their loved one. Economic damages include those that the court can measure, such as lost wages, medical bills, loss of accumulations to an estate, and loss of investment accumulations. Non-economic damages refer to compensation the survivors may receive for the physical, emotional, and mental trauma they and the decedent experienced as a result of the fatal incident.
Types of Claimants in Wrongful Death Cases
If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person, a lawyer could help determine if you can pursue a wrongful death case. Each state maintains its own laws as to who can file a lawsuit for wrongful death, which could include the executor of the decedent’s estate, family members, or both.
State laws also determine how the claimant must distribute the settlement if achieved and whether the court must oversee or approve its distribution. If your state requires a representative of the decedent’s estate to file the lawsuit and your loved one did not have a will, the court can appoint one to file the lawsuit.
A Lawyer Can Help You Evaluate the Value of Your Wrongful Death Case
Unfortunately, attorneys cannot provide you with an average settlement for wrongful death lawsuits. However, they can investigate the details of your case, examine the circumstances that led to your loved one’s death, and assess the factors that play a role in the estimated amount of your settlement to help you pursue a fair payment for your losses.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s unlawful or negligent actions, the attorneys at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help you ease the burden associated with facing the legal system on your own. We can manage your case and provide you with counsel.
Call us today at (800) 593-3443 to discuss the details of your case during a free consultation with our team.